News, updates, finds, and stories from staff and community members at KAHEA.

News, updates, finds, stories, and tidbits from staff and community members at KAHEA. Got something to share? Email us at:

activism and internet

Posted by kahea at Feb 07, 2008 03:42 PM |
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In this week’s Honolulu Weekly, Ian Lind’s Honolulu Diary has a brief outline of some of the tools available to citizen activists for keeping up with state decision-making–everything from members of the Legislature to individual Commissions and Boards. Resources include the state calendar at And the campaign spending records at

He also points out numerous problems:

“A check of the calendar last weekend listed meetings of the Land Use Commission on Maui on Thursday and Friday, February 7-8, with an agenda that included an item with staff recommendations regarding LUC’s position on land use bills pending at the Legislature. A quick check of the LUC’s own website, initially to see if more information about the agenda items might be available, turned up a notice that the Maui meetings have been canceled. Other agency meetings, such as the Board of Land and Natural Resources, are missing from the central calendar, and with well over 100 state boards and commissions, it’s difficult to know whether agencies ignore the main calendar or provide only the minimum six day notice required by law.”

The end result being, it seems to us, that while more information than ever is available via the internet to individual citizens, the system of posting and providing information on the web has a ways to go before it really meets its potential for making decision-making at the capitol truly accessible to the public it serves.

Hawaii Blue Line Project Rally at Stadium Park

Posted by kahea at Feb 06, 2008 08:50 PM |

from Marion Ano, KAHEA 2008 Graduate Intern:

The afternoon sun cast a warm glow throughout Stadium Park last week Wednesday on the corner of Isenberg and King. I attended the “Blue Line Project” Demonstration to build awareness of climate change, global warming, and to break the silence about sea level rise.


Each participant contributed their own message to Hawai’i. I enjoyed seeing children with their blue chalks in their hands and exchanging in the higher consciousness of the event. A blue line drawn seven blocks from Stadium Park proved to be the boldest statement of the demonstration. Onlookers stopped us and asked questions like “What are you doing?”. We responded by saying that sea level would inevitably rise to this blue line within 50 to 100 years. Unfortunately, no onlookers felt compelled to join in and be a part of this effort.

As I reflect upon the demonstration and the success of the event it is important for all of us to ponder and think of ways to continue building on this momentum. How can we effectively reach out to people and inspire change in the face of an inevitable doom?

One way or another each of us will contribute some effect on global warming. The choice is ours whether that effect will continue to be rapid and unforgiving or slow and responsible. The dialogue must continue before we find ourselves knee deep in water. Nature will no longer allow us to ignore it. Global warming has leaked past the walls of academia and eats away at our existing shorelines.

A fisherman on Moloka’i told me how much land he has lost due to sea level rise and he has done everything to curb the process. But, he knows that nature will win. Besides warmer temperatures and sea level rise, Hawaiian cultural practices could be lost forever. With rising sea levels comes the death of the coral reefs, and the ecosystems that its supports. Our native limu remains threatened by the invasion of non-native species. Furthermore, sea level rise will destroy their habitats and possibly cause remaining limu populations to dwindle.

The bottom line, the blue line that is will cost us more than money. There are some things that money cannot buy. Take responsibility because each of us has that power.

link to Honolulu Advertiser article on the demonstration
link to Sierra Club website find photos and press release

Congressman Urges Federal Investigation of Wespac

Posted by kahea at Feb 06, 2008 07:43 PM |
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The Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman, called for an investigation by the GAO (Government Accountability Office) on Monday, in response to calls of concern from Hawaii NGOs regarding improper use of government funds and unethical conduct by Wespac (Western Pacific Fishery Management Council) and its Executive Director, Kitty Simonds.

Hawaii groups have been calling for an investigation for more than four years. Allegations have included altering of data pertaining to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, misuse of coral reef conservation money used to promote expanded commercial exploitation in the sensitive, fragile, and strongly protected Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI), use of Coral Reef Conservation Act funds to promote recreational fishing near Nihoa, an island in the NWHI which is home to important cultural sites, and improper use of federal money for lobbying efforts.

“These are serious allegations, and we look forward to the results of a thorough investigation. Wespac must be held accountable for the way it has been spending public money in its attempts to weaken protections for the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands,” said Vicky Holt-Takamine, Board President of KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance. “Full protection of our natural and cultural resources demands prosecution of any such violations to the fullest extent of the law.”

Wespac is also under investigation by the Department of Commerce Inspector General (IG).

More on Wespac.

Federal Judge Rules Navy Sonar Must Comply with Environmental Laws

Posted by kahea at Feb 06, 2008 06:16 PM |
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Woke up yesterday to the news, scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen, that President Bush’s recent action (NEPA exemption) to allow of the Navy to conduct nearshore sonar and anti-submarine warfare exercises is NOT legal and will not stand.

According the decision by a U.S. District Court Judge, the Navy is not exempted from compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and must honor a court injunction creatng a 12 nautical-mile no-sonar zone off Southern California

From the article in Feb 5 Star Bulletin:

“It’s an excellent decision,” said Joel Reynolds, attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is spearheading the legal fight. “It reinstates the proper balance between national security and environmental protection.”

In May 2007, Earthjustice, along with KAHEA and several other local and national organizations, sued the Navy for their current Undersea Warfare Exercises (USWEX), which include a dozen high-intensity active sonar training events in the waters around Hawaii.


(photo from

More Media Coverage of Beach Access Rally Day!

Posted by kahea at Feb 03, 2008 05:17 PM |

Links to media coverage from Scott at Surfrider Oahu Chapter:

Polihale public access agreement reached on Kauai:

Network News Coverage of Beach Access Rallies

Posted by kahea at Feb 03, 2008 06:00 AM |


“Hawaii’s beaches are public property. But in recent years, more private landowners have closed off paths that lead to the shoreline. In an effort to change that, some 20 grassrooots organizations rallied across the state today.”


Protestors throughout the state hit the streets to call attention to beach access. They say more and more new developments are closing off paths to public beaches, and they want them back.”

mahalo pumehana.

So, the day is done.

What an inspiring 24 hours! The view from the trolley was amazing, as we went from rally to rally on Oahu’s south shore and met and saw dedicated individuals–many out in the rain–waving signs, calling to cars and passers-by.


Hawaii’s Beach Access Day (Groundhog Day!) happened because individuals and organizations islands-wide stepped up and stepped out to make a statement about the problems they face, and their hopes for a better Hawaii–one with open, free and public beach access. We tried to keep up with the list of supporting groups flying around in various emails, but at this point… we have officially lost count! We believe there were well over 20 groups and over 300 individuals out waving signs today. Awesome!

This was an incredibly, er, organic event day–something that happened because so many people put their talents and energy into this effort in different parts of the islands. Many of them have been working on access issues for years.

Closing thought: We’d like to share these words sent from Rich, at Beach Access Hawaii:

Then I stopped and listened to “Rock Me on the Water” by Jackson Browne…

Oh people, look around you
The signs are everywhere
You’ve left it for somebody other than you
To be the one to care…

That was me. But getting involved with this cause has shown me there are people who care. One guy — Ricky Bermudez — who doesn’t even get these emails because he doesn’t own a computer, has single-handedly collected almost 300 petition signatures, and has been posting G-Day flyers in shop windows and handing them out. Two people have contributed $100 each, and others have made generous donations as well.

Their heartfelt notes though, meant more to me than the money. I wish you could read them, because you’d understand how much this means to some people.

Stay inspired, stay active, stay engaged, and stay informed! On the momentum of this islands-wide rally day, things… are beginning to happen. What happens next is in the hands of all of us. When ordinary people unite voices, when communities get organized and get together, there is no limit to what can be accomplished!

A few places to start (resources and groups working on access issues):

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